Autonomy First is excited to announce that we are partnering with Deakin University to support a new research project, Financial Decision-Making Capacity – A Challenge for Advisors.

The project is engaging primarily with financial service professionals and the tools they use to evaluate the decision making ability of their clients.

Helping clients deal with the complexity in their lives is where professionals add great value to their clients. Financial decision making is an area where great damage can occur when financial decisions are taken without a person’s full knowledge and approval of the outcomes of the decision.

Newer conceptual approaches have been developed, including the work of Dr. Jane Lonie and Michael Perkins at Autonomy First. These approaches examine a client’s decision making ability in the context of their individual circumstances, behaviours and abilities and the decision or situation being faced. The research project will review these approaches.

The project focuses on financial decision making in particular and aims to provide guidance about how professionals should approach client interviewing and onboarding to mitigate the risk of working with clients:

  1. who have impaired decision making ability, or
  2. may not be able to give informed consent to the advice and proposals given by their attending professionals.

From the perspective of a financial advisor, the questions they often face are how to determine whether a client has the capacity and ability to make the specific financial decision they are confronted with, and what should be done if they don’t.

The outcomes of the project are designed to help Accountants, Financial Planners Financial Services Organisations and Lawyers, deal with these common human issues all professionals face when engaging with clients and their supporters.

The project is lead by Professor Adam Steen of Deakin University. For further information about the project please contact Professor Steen.

Autonomy First looks forward to bringing you more updates on this important research project as it progresses. You can read the draft proposal here.